Originally Answered: Can someone help me diagnose these symptoms: dry cough that gets a lot worse when lying down?
Poor thing! You can't even get sleep with that crappy cough! Don't you wish something were coming out? At least then it would feel *worth it*! Ugh... Well, hopefully something here might be able to help you..... Here are some tips that help me when I'm fighting a cold, respiratory infection, or flu.....
COOK YOURSELF UP SOME HEALY SAUCE:
Boil some salty water in a pot on the stove. Turn off the burner. Blow your nose and cough out some phlegm. Make a steam hood by draping a small-to-medium-sized towel over your head and the pot. Breathe the salty steam in your nose, out your mouth several times. Breathe some in your mouth and out your nose a few times as well. Blow your nose whenever you need to. Keep this up until the steam is gone because the water has cooled. You can do this trick a few times throughout the day until you feel better. Salt is very healing.
OVER THE COUNTER MEDS TO TRY:
take a sinus decongestant containing Phenylephrine 5mg. you don't necessarily need all the extras it's often mixed with.
but if you want some extras, here you go: Guaifenisen (Mucinex is the brand name, but it's way cheaper at dollar stores. always read ingredients!!) liquefies your mucus so it's much easier to expel. But you have to drink TONS of water or it won't work, and you must be near a bathroom because it makes you pee a lot. (yet causes constipation... another reason to stay hydrated!)
Ibuprofen is an excellent anti-inflammatory, but it's strong, so alternate it with Acetaminophen as needed for pain, pressure, and headaches.
ESSENTIALS FOR IMMUNITY BOOSTS:
stay home. (even one day can make a difference to your immune system. plus, you'll keep your germs to yourself.)
sleep. (bolsters up your immune system)
drink plenty of water. (8 8oz servings a day=bare minimum!!) (pee out those germs and flush 'em away!!)
take vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea. (also strengthen the immune system)
eat too much garlic. (sorry, but it really is great for your health! and it will give you a good reason to stay home. :) )
wash hands well and often. use moisturizing lotion or hand sanitizer to keep from cracking your hands to bits.
avoid milk and chocolate. dairy foods will thicken your mucus and make your fight that much harder.
moderate exercise helps your immune system too!
the meds and garlic are harsh, so don't take them on an empty stomach. i hope you allow yourself some time to feel better soon! take care.
also i just learned a new tip from John Popper of Blues Traveler: very hot water, cayenne pepper, white vinegar, and honey. SOUNDS GROSS!!! he gargles it and spits up all kinds of nasty crap. might be worth a shot, but don't hurt your vocals! to be safe maybe just drink hot water with lemon and honey. that works too, and it's much more pleasant.
you will benefit most from the mucinex and water. (generic is fine... but don't take any DEXTROMETHORPHAN (cough suppressant) during the day. take it at night so you can stop coughing and get some rest. during the day, you need to drink a ton of water and break that crap up so it will leave you alone!
NOTE: I am not a doctor or nurse. Consult a medical professional to tailor any of the above suggestions to your particular circumstances, especially taking into consideration your weight, age, health, whether you're pregnant or nursing. FEEL BETTER SOON!! :